SOURCE: BrightScope


October 04, 2010 09:00 ET

BrightScope Releases List of the Top 10 Funds Held in America's 401K Plans

Investment Managers Will Soon Have Unprecedented Visibility Into Funds Within 401k Plans

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - October 4, 2010) -  BrightScope (, the leading independent provider of retirement plan ratings, today announced the Top 10 Fund Distribution Rankings list for the 401k and defined contribution industry. This list is the first of many steps BrightScope is taking to provide investment managers and mutual fund companies with more insight into the funds they manage. The proliferation of this critical information will dramatically increase the efficiency of the marketplace and lead to lower cost plans and better outcomes for the 60 million Americans who depend on their 401k plan for retirement.

"For years, the 401k industry has operated without comprehensive data on which funds and managers have the best distribution," said Mike Alfred, the CEO and co-founder of BrightScope. "As the defined contribution marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, only firms operating with the benefit of the very best data will succeed."

Since its infancy, the 401k marketplace has suffered from a lack of quality data that is comprehensive enough to be useful for most strategic functions. Historically, it has been virtually impossible to determine a specific mutual fund's total distribution in 401k plans. BrightScope's revolutionary database includes a detailed investment menu on more than 50,000 plans, representing nearly 90 percent of all the assets in 401ks. With this dataset, BrightScope is able to provide detailed analysis of total fund distributions.

The Top 10 funds in the 401k marketplace by total distribution include:

1. American Funds Growth Fund of America 

2. PIMCO Total Return

3. American Funds EuroPacific Growth

4. SSgA S&P 500 Index

5. Vanguard 500 Index

6. Fidelity Contrafund

7. Fidelity Diversified International

8. Vanguard Institutional Index

9. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index

10. Dodge & Cox Stock

BrightScope's technology uncovers audited financial data on investment funds held within real 401k plans. The BrightScope database is far superior to the industry's current survey-based approach. When surveys are done, they usually capture no more than 10 percent of total distribution and skew heavily towards funds prominent in the survey company's client base. Going forward, investment managers will have the opportunity to access comprehensive data, giving them a transparent view into their own fund distribution, as well as the distribution of their competitors.

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About BrightScope
BrightScope is committed to helping America's workforce retire in dignity. BrightScope is an independent data analytics firm that quantitatively rates 401k plans and gives employers, employees, and advisors tools to enhance plan performance and maximize retirement outlook. The BrightScope Rating™, developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines 401k plan quality at the company level. BrightScope-published ratings, rating definitions, criteria and methodologies are available on the company's public site,

Contact Information

  • Korina Buhler
    Atomic PR for BrightScope
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